Cayman Celebrates PADI Women’s Dive Day
Women are helping shape the future of the Caribbean’s top dive destination with a strong industry presence and having fun at it
Grand Cayman - Saturday, July 15 was a regular work day for women dive professionals in the Cayman Islands, but on this day girls ruled and fun was the order of the day. Women dive pros and women divers shared their love of the ocean and passion for diving as they celebrated PADI Women’s Dive Day,
“It was amazing! We had about 20 women on board our pink boat and we ran the 2-tank dive trip with an all-woman crew,” said Divetech owner Jo Mikutowicz. “Everyone had a blast and we raised $1,250.00 US for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.”
Red Sail Sports offered a fun-filled 2-tank dive for women divers. Male divemasters, dressed up in captain’s hats, collars and cuffs, pampered them and servede champagne and strawberries after the dive. Staff also held a raffle to raise money for a good cause.
“The raffle proceeds are going towards full Open Water certifications to be awarded to three Caymanian young ladies so we can introduce to them to the underwater world,” said Lowri Williams.
The idea behind PADI Women’s Dive Day is to strengthen the dive community by attracting new divers and bringing inactive divers back to the sport. The event, inaugurated two years ago, draws good media coverage and promotes scuba diving among women. PADI officials say statistics today reflect an increase in the number of women learning to dive and becoming dive professionals. According to dive insurance statistics, almost 50% of dive professionals in the Caribbean are women, and Cayman is leading the way.
"Ocean Frontiers has some serious Girl Power running the operation in all areas of the business,” said co-owner Steve Broadbelt proudly. “In a once male-dominated business, at Ocean Frontiers 50% of our team are women. We're going to change the old saying to ‘Behind every successful dive operation is a team of strong women’. "
Jo Mikutowicz took over the helm at Divetech from Cayman dive pioneer Nancy Easterbrook who helped pave the way for women in Cayman’s dive industry. Mikutowicz continues to empower and inspire women under her watch.
“Women are very important to diving as they bring a whole different level of awesomeness to the sport,” she said. “They can advance their own training and make a career out of it, encourage their families to get involved to make it a family activity, show their kids that woman can do anything or just have it be their alone quite time.”
“We are definitely seeing more women in prominent positions in the dive industry so women are moving forward,” agrees Lois Hatcher, photography professional at Ocean Frontiers. She has been a dive pro for decades and has been a part of the forward movement.
“There are more families on the dive boats when we used to see mostly men in the old days. We are also seeing single women who took a resort course during their visit last year, and they came back as certified divers.”
"I believe that women, as nurturers and caregivers, have a unique view on the environment as underwater ambassadors. It is important to use every opportunity to develop this bond," said Southern Cross Club’s Neil van Niekerk.
Women’s Dive Day recognizes the roles women are playing in the dive industry world-wide. From recreational woman divers to the instructors that teach and guide diving; from captains who drive boats to scientists who conduct marine research and carry out conservation work; from technical divers to archaeological explorers; from company owners to top management staff. Women play a huge roll today and they will continue to add their special touch as the dive industry heads in the future.
“Being a woman in this job is not always easy - a lot of heavy lifting and exhausting hours - but it’s always worth it in the end because you are working outside on the water and diving with amazing creatures!” said Ocean Frontiers dive instructor Chantalle Blume, who is just beginning her career in diving. “My advice to any woman looking at getting into the pro dive industry, is go for it. If you love it, then you can do it!”
The focus on women in diving doesn’t end on July 15. Sunset Divers at Sunset House is hosting a special day on August 6th. Dive professionals Emma-Jane Fisher and Caymanian Instructor Jennifer Moseley will host “A Day of Charity” to supporting the Cayman Island Crisis Center. The event is to raise awareness of the island's first & only organization that provides emergency shelter & support services for victims of domestic abuse.”
The Cayman Bottom Times is news collaboration by five leading dive operators to promote the superb diving of the Cayman Islands, and keep the diving public informed of important developments and events. Divetech, Ocean Frontiers, Red Sail Sports and Sunset House in Grand Cayman, and the Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman, all members of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, represent more than 100 years of solid experience in a destination that is recognized as the birthplace of recreational diving. With a unique combination of deep wall and shallow reef diving, several wrecks, and world-famous Stingray City, the Cayman Islands has cemented its place as the top diving destination in the Caribbean.
Media Contact: Adela Gonzales White at Adela.G.White@comcast.net